Wallabies

Quade Cooper to travel to New Zealand with Wallabies for Bledisloe Cup

James O’Connor’s groin injury will prevent the No 10 travelling to New Zealand and with border restrictions set to play havoc with the Wallabies’ upcoming test campaign, Rennie has done the unthinkable by bringing back the 70-test playmaker back into an Australian squad.

Cooper, who recently revealed he has had his application for Australian citizenship turned down four times, will travel to New Zealand with the rest of the team on Friday.

Wallabies snatch victory at death after French error

Les Bleus led by 15 points in the first half after two Gabin Villiere tries but Wallabies captain Michael Hooper's late try closed France's lead to one.

France then kicked a penalty to touch but fumbled the resulting line-out and Australia won the decisive penalty.

The sides meet again on Tuesday in the second game of the three-match series.

It was Australia's second Test victory since the 2019 World Cup against a French side that have rested most of their Test starters.

     

Hooper back to lead Wallabies against France

Rennie handed Lolesio his first cap last year but the then 20-year-old endured a torrid debut as the All Blacks hammered the Wallabies 43-5 to claim the Bledisloe Cup for an 18th successive year.

Lolesio will make his second test start at Lang Park with Matt Toomua alongside him after the experienced inside centre recovered from a neck problem that had threatened his participation.

In more good news on the injury front, Jake Gordon will start at halfback after making a quicker than expected recovery from a knee injury.

Will Genia keen to play in New Zealand, picks Beauden Barrett in All Blacks No 10 debate

Halfback Genia, a former Australian captain with 110 tests for the Wallabies in a career that has taken him around the world, now plays club rugby in Japan on the back of a successful stint in France.

He’s no stranger to New Zealand shores with frequent Bledisloe Cup and Super Rugby battles and admits he has a soft spot for Kiwi playing fields.

“I’ve always wanted to maybe come over and play in New Zealand for a year or so. That’d be the dream, when I’ve finished,” Genia, 32, told the Aotearoa Rugby Pod.

Sitaleki Timani named alongside eleven debutants in first Australia squad of 2021

Michael Hooper has returned from Japan to captain the side, with the first test to be played in Sydney on July 7, followed by Melbourne and Brisbane – the entire series to be completed in just 11 days.

The biggest change has come at hooker, with only Queensland’s Brandon Paenga-Amosa remaining from last year’s Rugby Championship.

Brumbies rake Lachlan Lonergan and Feleti Kaitu’u from the Western Force are the new faces, with regulars Folau Fainga’a and Jordan Uelese axed.

Wallabies sign Brumbies boss Dan McKellar as an assistant coach ahead of French series

McKellar was asked by Wallabies coach Dave Rennie last year but declined, preferring to focus on the Brumbies.

But after taking his team to their second successive Super Rugby AU final – for a win and a loss – he has opted to sign on for the international season.

He will return to Canberra before the 2022 Super Rugby campaign but is being earmarked for a full-time role with the Wallabies heading into the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Australia return to international action in a three-test campaign against France next month, with game one on July 7 at the SCG.

Dave Rennie mulls over Wallabies hooker and locks selection for French test series

Rennie will name his players next Sunday for the series, which opens in Sydney on July 7, with three Tests played in 11 days, and says there will be some changes to the 40-man training squad he named in March.

"We've got the spine of a team ... there's certainly positions that we're unsure of and the next couple of weeks are going to be important for those individuals," Rennie told Stan Sport.

After leaving out all three of the hookers he used in 2020, Rennie said the No.2 jersey still remained wide open, as did spots in the second row.

Former All Blacks, Wallaby in line to play for Tonga

The Tonga Rugby Union announced last month it would only select players based in Europe for the qualifying tournament in Monaco, because of travel difficulties caused by Covid-19.

Tonga men's sevens coach Tevita Tu'ifua said an initial list of 43 names had been trimmed to 23, which includes two ex All Blacks and a former Wallaby.

"We have got a few (high profile) names pop up and we still need to rank our priorities list and then we work from there to finalise our selection," he said.

Rising Wallabies star Rob Valetini re-commits to Australian rugby with new contract extension

Man of the match in Saturday’s qualifying final win over the Western Force, Valetini has built on his four test appearances under Rennie in 2020 to be one of the best in this year’s Super Rugby AU campaign.

He will butt heads with a Wallabies teammate, 21-year-old Queensland Reds forward Harry Wilson, in one of many spicy match-ups that will decide the domestic crown on Saturday at Suncorp Stadium.

Tevita Kuridrani to miss Super Rugby AU qualifying final as one of three suspended Wallabies

Kuridrani started in the Western Force’s shock 30-27 victory over the previously unbeaten Queensland Reds at HBF Park in Perth on Friday, but was yellow carded in just the second minute of the match for a spear tackle on his opposite Hunter Paisami.

Lifting the six-test Australian international past the horizontal line, Kuridrani was cleared of a red card due to the fact that Paisami broke his fall with his hand, which prevented his head from hitting the ground first.